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Submission + - The strange disappearance of Dancho Danchev

rudy_wayne writes: ZDNet is reporting that Zero Day blogger and malware researcher Dancho Danchev has gone missing since August of last year. Dancho, who was relentless in his pursuit of cyber-criminals, last blogged here on August 18. His personal blog has not been updated since September 11, 2010.

At ZDNet, we made multiple attempts to contact him, to no avail. Telephone numbers are going to Bulgarian language voicemails and our attempts to reach him via a snail mail address also came up empty. Just recently, a trusted member of the malware research community reached out to us to say he had received a troubling letter from Dancho on September 9, 2010, about the threat of persecution in Bulgaria.

Submission + - Extinct Mammoth: Coming to a Zoo Near You (telegraph.co.uk) 1

Techmeology writes: Professor Akira Iritani of Kyoto University plans to use recent developments in cloning technology to give life to the currently extinct woolly mammoth. Although earlier efforts in the 1990s were unsuccessful due to damage caused by extreme cold, Professor Iritani believes he can use a technique pioneered by Dr Wakayama (who successfully cloned a frozen mouse) to overcome this obstacle. This technique will enable Professor Iritani to identify viable cell nuclei, and transfer them to egg cells of an African elephant which will carry the mammoth for a 600 day pregnancy.

Submission + - Another Google Privacy Disaster Brewing: Calendar

lee1 writes: "The Google Buzz disaster is playing itself out again, this time in
                            Google Calendar. Users are finding that Google is emailing random people with
                            spurious invitations to their appointments or false
                            cancellation messages. The emails contain information
                            about the user’s appointments that was not intended to be
                            shared, and have led to embarrassment and damage to
                            reputations. In at least one case someone was granted
                            access to a calendar that was not supposed to be shared."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Impossible Project Selling Reverse Engineered Film (fastcompany.com)

b0bby writes: According to Fast Company "The Impossible Project, which has no connection to Polaroid, decided to "re-invent" the technology through backwards engineering and then produce and sell their own version of the film, which would be compatible with old-school Polaroid cameras. It looked like vaporware for awhile, but, as reports the AP, this week they announced they've done it."

Submission + - Global Cybercrime with Corporate Cover and Benefit 2

nathanielinbrazil writes: An article on allvoices details a sophisticated corporate environment provided the look and cover of legitimacy. The operation employed hackers and gave them great salaries, benefits and bonuses in a cube farm. The Kiev, Ukraine operation, called International Marketing Ukraine or IMU has been dismantled by the United States Federal Trade Commission, but its money-maker scareware lingers.

Submission + - Microsoft says it is business as usual in China (computerworlduk.com)

superapecommando writes: Microsoft will not change its approach to business in China following Google's recent move to stop censoring its search engine, a senior company official said today.
Microsoft believes that it should be engaged in global markets and will continue to support free expression, transparency and the rule of law, said Cornelia Kutterer, senior manager for regulatory policy in Brussels.


Submission + - SPAM: Skype comes to Verizon

IP-192.com writes: Skype’s popular telephony application is on its way to Verizon Wireless. Nine phone models sold by the carrier in the U.S. will be compatible with the new service, including several Blackberry smart phones and phones running Goggle’s Android software.

The Skype mobile application will allow Verizon data package subscribers to make phone calls to other Skype members at no extra cost. Users can also exchange unlimited instant messages with other Skype users and manage their Skype contact list directly from the mobile application. Calls to international numbers can be made utilizing Skype’s competitive rates instead of Verizon Wireless contract rates.

While Verizon expect to lose some revenue from long distance calls, it expects that its data service will gain extra momentum. “We believe it will be sizable,” said Jennifer Byrne, Verizon Wireless’ director of new business development.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Google Buzz is Trending Toward Professionalism (buzzite.com)

Buzzite writes: Social networks have really come a long way since the internet began. First there was a social network site called “Six Degrees of Separation” which formed in early 1997. It wasn’t until 2003 that Myspace was formed, and late 2006 that Facebook was open to everyone (not just college and highschool students). 2006 also marked the beginning of Twitter.

Is Jupiter Earth's Cosmic Protector? 222

Hugh Pickens writes "Last Sunday, an object, probably a comet that nobody saw coming, plowed into Jupiter's colorful cloud tops, splashing up debris and leaving a black eye the size of the Pacific Ocean — the second time in 15 years that this had happened, after Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 fell apart and its pieces crashed into Jupiter in 1994, leaving Earth-size marks that persisted up to a year. 'Better Jupiter than Earth,' say astronomers who think that part of what makes Earth such a nice place to live is that Jupiter acts as a gravitational shield, deflecting incoming space junk away from the inner solar system where it could do to humans what an asteroid apparently did for the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. 'If anything like that had hit the Earth it would have been curtains for us, so we can feel very happy that Jupiter is doing its vacuum-cleaner job and hoovering up all these large pieces before they come for us,' says Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley, who first noticed the mark on Jupiter. But others say the warm and fuzzy image of the King of Planets as father-protector may not be entirely accurate. In 1770, Comet Lexell whizzed by the earth, missing us by a cosmic whisker after passing close to Jupiter. The comet made two passes around the Sun and in 1779 again passed very close to Jupiter, which then threw it back out of the solar system."

New Leader In Netflix Prize Race With One Day To Go 87

brajesh writes "The Netflix Prize, an algorithm competition to improve the Netflix Cinematch recommendation system by more than 10%, has a new leader — The Ensemble — just one day before the competition ends. The 30-day race to the end was kicked off after BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos submitted the first entry to break the 10% barrier, with the results showing a 10.08% improvement. The Ensemble, made up of three teams who chose to join forces ('Grand Prize Team,' 'Opera Solutions' and 'Vandelay United), has managed to overtake BellKor with a score of 10.09% — an improvement of .01% over the former leaders. From the article on Techcrunch: 'The competition will end [today], so teams still have a little bit of time left to make their last-second submissions, but things are looking good for The Ensemble. This has to be absolutely brutal for team BellKor.'"

Submission + - AMD to support Nvidia's CUDA technology? (techradar.com)

arcticstoat writes: "Although Nvidia and AMD currently have rival GPGPU standards in the form of CUDA and Stream, Nvidia has hinted that there is a project in the works to enable CUDA on AMD / ATI GPUs. Nvidia's chief scientist said that "In the future you'll be able to run C with CUDA extensions on a broader range of platforms, so I don't think that will be a fundamental limitation." Although both AMD and Nvidia have announced support for OpenCL and DirectX Compute, there are still potential advantages to CUDA, including support for GPU-accelerated PhysX in games."
Data Storage

Submission + - Graphene Could Make Magnetic Memory 1000x Denser (technologyreview.com)

KentuckyFC writes: "The density of magnetic memory depends on the size of the magnetic domains used to store bits. The current state-of-the-art uses cobalt-based grains some 8nm across, each containing about 50,000 atoms. Materials scientists think they can shrink the grains to 15,000 atoms but any smaller than that and the crystal structure of the grains is lost. That's a problem because the cobalt has to be arranged in a hexagonal close packing structure to ensure the stability of its magnetic field. Otherwise the field can spontaneously reverse and the data is lost. Now a group of German physicists say they can trick a pair of cobalt atoms into thinking they are in a hexagonal close packing structure by bonding them to a hexagonal carbon ring such as graphene or benzene. That's handy because the magnetic field associated with cobalt dimers is calculated to be far more stable than the field in a cobalt grain. And graphene and benzene rings are only 0.5 nm across, a size that could allow an increase in memory density of three orders of magnitude."

Submission + - India To Put All Citizen Info In Database (dailymail.co.uk)

Oracle Goddess writes: "As part of a plan to issue ID cards for all 1.1 billion of its citizens, India has announced plans to place information on every single citizen in the world's second largest citizens' database. The government believes the scheme will aid the delivery of vital social services to the poorest people who often lack sufficient identification papers. It also sees the scheme as a way to tackle increasing amounts of identity fraud and theft and, at a time of increased concern over the threat of militant violence, to boost national security and help police and law officials. "This could be used as a security measure by the government which leaves migrant workers, refugees and other stateless people in India in limbo, without access to public services, employment and basic welfare," said Charu Lata Hogg, an associate fellow of the Asia programme at Chatham House."

Submission + - The science of Folding@home (bit-tech.net)

mr_sifter writes: "As previously discussed, computers running Folding@home now contribute over 1 petaflop of processing power to research into protein folding, making Folding@home the most successful example yet of a distributed computing app. It's also at the forefront of GPGPU computing, with both Nvidia and ATI keen to push how well their graphics chips perfom when folding. So the technology is great, but what about the science? This feature looks at how the Folding project was developed, how it's helping researchers and the thorny question of how long it might be until the software running on your PC or PS3 actually produces real world results."

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose